Thursday, April 16, 2009
Le Jeudi de Josephine: Precious Memoirs!!!
Madame de Rémusat
Today I will share with you the object of my absolute pure, sheer joy and happiness…I have recently received (after much searching) the “Memoirs of the Courts of Europe-Empress Josephine, Volume 1,” by Madame de Rémusat; copyright 1879…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The book is in very good condition considering it’s over 130 years old. I’m a big (and crazy for) collector of old wonderful books. You can just imagine how I feel when I find one that’s about Josephine.
Who was this Madame de Rémusat? Claire Élisabeth Jeanne Gravier de Vergennes de Rémusat (1780 -1824) was, at her most important position in history, the lady –in-waiting of Empress Josephine Bonaparte. Her father and grandfather were victims of the Revolution; killed just before the fall of Robespierre. Her mom had no choice but to take Claire and her sister to the valley of Montmorency, where they could live a more peaceful life. A young man, Augustin de Remusat, followed them as well. Augustin then married Claire when she turned sixteen.
Amongst her neighbors, lived Josephine; then known as Madame de Beauharnais. The families became very close and so it was natural for Claire to follow Josephine as her lady-in-waiting when Josephine left for Paris to assume her Royal position. Augustin was made Prefect of the Palace in 1802.
Madame de Rémusat was extremely loyal to Josephine and completely on her side on every issue. She stayed with Josephine even after her downfall, and followed her right up to her retirement. That is when Madame de Rémusat decided to write about all the historic people she encountered and of the days of the Royal court. She said she was inspired to write by her ‘love of truth’, and that this is what these memoirs are all about…
Initially, she had attempted to write the memoirs in 1815, but for fear of compromising her family due to the obvious residual consequences of history and the fact that Napoleon had been exiled, Madame de Rémusat decided to burn these. She resumed her writing ‘afresh’ in 1818. This present manuscript, which was left unfinished due to her death in 1821, was only published sixty years later by her grandson, Paul de Rémusat. So now…
…Here I am with a copy of this book printed back in 1879!!!!!!! Can you just imagine the thrill of me having this book in my possession? I can’t wait to share interesting details that I read with you! Besides the obvious review that I will give it, you can be sure that I will be posting all that I find fascinating and new to me in this precious book.
Posted by Lucy at 9:30 AM